TN 9 (06-13)

GN 02315.078 Rhode Island Small Estates

A. Policy for payment pursuant to affidavit in Rhode Island

1. Rhode Island basic statute

If a resident of Rhode Island dies, leaving an estate consisting entirely of personal property, valued at no more than $15,000 (excluding tangible personal property), his or her surviving spouse, child, grandchild, parent, brother, sister, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, or any interested party, if of full age and legal capacity and a resident of the State, may file with the probate court on a form the court prescribed, a statement, verified by oath or affirmation. Filing must be made after 30 days from the decedent’s death. The filing party must be of full age and legal capacity and a resident of the State. This filing is made under condition that no person filed petition for letters testamentary or letters of administration with the probate court of the city or town in which the decedent resided.

2. Contents of affidavit in Rhode Island

The statement should contain:

  • the name and residential address of the affiant;

  • the name, residence, and date of death of the deceased;

  • the relationship of the affiant to the deceased;

  • a schedule showing every asset known to the affiant titled solely in the decedent’s name and all assets known or believed to be titled in the decedent’s name as of the decedent’s date of death, and the estimated value of each such asset;

  • a statement that the affiant has undertaken to act as voluntary administrator of the estate of the deceased and will administer the same according to law, and apply the proceeds thereof in conformity with this section; and

  • the names and addresses known to the affiant of the persons who would take under the provisions of Rhode Island law in the case of intestacy.

3. Rhode Island voluntary executor statute

If a resident of Rhode Island dies leaving an estate consisting entirely of personal property, valued at no more than $15,000 (excluding tangible personal property), and he or she leaves a will naming a person as executor, the named person, may file with the probate court of the city or town in which the decedent resided upon a form prescribed by the court a statement, verified by oath or affirmation. The named party must be of full age and legal capacity.

If the named person declines or is unable to serve, then any person named as alternate may file with said probate court upon a form prescribed by the court a statement, verified by oath or affirmation.

If such alternate declines or is unable to serve, then the surviving spouse, child, grandchild, parent, brother, sister, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, or any interested party, if of full age and legal capacity and a resident of the state may file with said probate court upon a form prescribed by the court a statement, verified by oath or affirmation.

Filing will be made after the expiration of 30 days from the decedent’s death, provided no person filed petition for letters testamentary or letters of administration with the probate court of the city or town in which the decedent resided.

4. Contents of affidavit from voluntary executor in Rhode Island

The statement should contain:

  • the name and residential address of the affiant;

  • the name, residence and date of death of the deceased;

  • the relationship of the affiant to the deceased;

  • a schedule showing every asset known to the affiant titled solely in the decedent’s name and all assets known or believed to be titled in the decedent’s name as of the decedent’s date of death and the estimated value of each such asset;

  • a statement that the affiant has undertaken to act as voluntary administrator of the estate of the deceased and will administer the same according to law, and apply the proceeds thereof in conformity with this section;

  • the names and addresses known to the affiant of the persons who would take under the provisions of Rhode Island general laws §33-1-10 in the case of intestacy;

  • the names and addresses known to the affiant of the persons who would take under the provisions of the will.

B. Policy for payment to funeral director in Rhode Island

The small estate statute also permits payment under like circumstances directly to the funeral director at the request of the person who is legally responsible for the funeral bill (up to the amount of said bill). However, the field office must submit to the regional attorney any case where the applicant applied for the underpayment only because he or she believed he was legally responsible for the funeral bill.